Breckenridge, Minnesota, resident Carl Zarling, a veteran, was recently selected by Home Depot to be the recipient of repairs to his home at no cost to him. Home Depot partnered with the local VFW and Zarling’s family members to clean and paint the interior of his home and repair his roof.
“Everything was designed to create a healthier living space for Carl,” Milt Arneson, Operations Manager from the Fergus Falls, Minnesota store said. “Carl had mentioned that he had never had any new kitchen appliances - so, we are going to make them happen for him as well.”
The Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot along with their army of volunteers have been working to improve the homes and lives of United State veterans. Team Depot is an associate-led volunteer force, who devote thousands of hours yearly to building and repairing home for those who have served. This year, Home Depot is trying to have 1,000,000 volunteer hours working on veterans home during the months of October and November.
Due to issues related to unemployment, age, health, and service-related disabilities, too many veterans and their families are facing major housing challenges. Darling was no exception.
“After my heart attack, the money just disappeared, making no money left for home repairs for sure,” Zarling said. “I am so appreciative of this great gift by so many. It has just been wonderful.”
According to a release by the Home Depot corporate office, more than a quarter of a billion dollars have been given to veteran-related causes by The Home Depot Foundation since 2011, stating that “when it comes to supporting the brave men and women of our armed forces, we’re all in.” The organization will continue to work with others to end veteran homelessness, perform critical home repairs for senior veterans and serve critically wounded veterans.
“Giving back to our nation’s heroes is a part of our DNA at The Home Depot,” said Shannon Gerber, executive director at The Home Depot Foundation. “We’re proud to partner with the best nonprofits in the nation to solve veteran issues and serve our servicemen and women who dedicated their lives to our country and sacrificed so much.”
Zarling joined the United States Army National Guard, on July 14, 1954, while still in high school. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army serving for a total of 21 years, four months and 25 days. He was stationed overseas at Sullivan Barracks, Mannheim, Germany, and Casema Carlo Ederle, Vicenza, Italy. The first of two tours of duty was a year spent at the Quinyon Army/Air Force exchange. He was then reassigned to the 7th Army Stock Control Center at Zwei Brucker, Germany. After realizing that it was not a good assignment fit for him, he volunteered to return to Vietnam for another year. Before his retirement in 1976, he was stationed in the United State in Maryland, Colorado, and Michigan. With an honorable discharge ranked as Sargent First Class (E7), he received a total of seven medals and commendations as well as four Good Conduct medals.